The Parable of the Mustard Seed is a tale of small faith with extraordinary outcomes.
31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.
30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
Luke 13: 18- 19
18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
In the ancient Jewish culture, there were many things that were common and widely known. Everyone was aware of and some practiced the Levitical practices prescribed by the Torah, for example abstaining from work on the Sabbath. Another common topic was gardening and harvest. Many people during this time relied on producing their own food through means of planting and harvesting or shepherding or fishing. The parable of the Mustard Seed is one that utilizes the commonness of a “weed” to make an important point of faith and transformation. The mustard seed that is mentioned in these stories, was considered a weed and not suitable for cultivating. The size of the seed was among the smallest seeds known at that time. The plant was not as desirable to eat or cultivate. The normal size of the plant would be the size of a regular bush. Jesus uses this example to illustrate the immense power of transformation and glory of God and His the kingdom. He shows that the purpose of this small and somewhat insignificant seed can be transformed from the small bush to one of the trees that can be houses for birds. In this context it is aligned with the olive tree and fig trees, two of the largest trees during this time period. The parable demonstrates that no matter how small or insignificant we might think of something, God has the ability to change it into something monumental and awe inspiring.
I am continually awed by the grace and wonderfulness of God. Throughout our life, we have the fortune and opportunity to witness the newness of life and the tenderness of the delivery process. In the hospital setting, we witness countless births that take place on a daily basis. A week ago, some close friends of mine where expecting their second child to be delivered through a regular process. Within hours of the delivery process, there were some complications that arose and the life of the mother and child were compromised. Emergency procedures were done to revive the mother and deliver the child. The mother and child were place in critical care and the odds of full recovery seemed dim and uncertain. But God has used this situation to show demonstrate His awesome grace and healing. The mother was released from the critical care area and released home this weekend. The baby is stable and making progress. God has used this situation to show that in the midst of “common” processes, He has the control and the power to make it extraordinary. Lets ask God to reveal the extraordinary in the common and regular activities of our life.